Professor Andrew Newberg, of the University of Pennsylvania, measures prayer. He invites Buddhists and Franciscan nuns to meditate and pray in a secluded room. At the peak of their devotions, he injects a tracer that travels to their brains and reveals brain activity at the moment of transcendence.

He has found that there is a small region near the back of the brain that constantly calculates a person?s sense of where the body ends and the world begins. During intense prayer or meditation, for unknown reasons, this region becomes a quiet oasis of inactivity as the person becomes ?one? with the universe.
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Everything that makes us “human” is thought to be contained in a part of our brains the size of a billiard ball.Researchers who study the brain say they think they have found the part of it that sets us apart from other primates.

Putting ourselves in others’ shoes, or understanding what others may be thinking, is what scientists consider to be thebasis of socialization, which is what makes us human. We can feel empathy and sympathy for others. Humans also have asense of humor and can detect when other people are being sarcastic or-at times-deceptive.

Dr. Donald Stuss, one of the world’s experts on the brain, found that these functions are all concentrated inside asmall region within the frontal lobes.
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